As calf sheds begin to fill and in-calf cow numbers begin to reduce on many farms across the country, we see that the half a million mark has been broken in the spring-calving season, with a total of 536,278 calves being registered since the beginning of the year.

The week ending February 19 saw some 167,085 calves being registered, which is actually a decrease compared to last year’s figures for the same time period, when 169,087 calves were registered.

The latest figures from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) show that there has been a 10% increase on last year’s figures – with 460,755 head of dairy calves born so far compared to 416,525 head for the same period in 2020.


Weekly breakdown

Taking a closer look at the figures, we can see that 150,791 dairy calves were registered during the week-ending February 19, 2021 – a decrease of 652 head on the corresponding week in 2020.

Looking at suckler calf registrations in more detail, during the week ending February 19, 2021, some 16,294 beef calves were registered – a decrease of 1,350 head on the same week in 2020.

The total number of suckler calves registered so far this year stands at 75,523 head. During the same period in 2020, some 76,366 beef calves were registered.

When combined, total calf registrations – for both suckler and dairy – are still running ahead of last year’s levels.

During the week ending February 19, 2021, a tally amounting to 167,085 head of calves had been registered – a decrease of 2,002 head when compared to the same period in 2020.

Calf registrations up to and including the week ending February 19, 2021: 
  • Beef births: 75,523 head (-843 head);
  • Dairy births: 460,755 head (+44,230 head);
  • Total births: 536,278 head (+43,387 head).